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Research and innovation across EU countries - challenges and developments


The European Commission's Research and Innovation Observatory (RIO) at the Joint Research Centre has published the 2016 edition of the RIO reports, which assess the evolution of the research and innovation systems at country level and identify key challenges.

Covering 27 countries of the EU, their main aim is to feed into the EU policy process by providing input to the European Semester process and to monitor progress of the European Research Area, although they do not imply nor prejudge any policy positions of the European Commission. They are also a tool to support policy learning in the Member States.

This year's edition has been streamlined to provide the most relevant information to better understand the national R&I systems, such as the main policy developments in 2016 (with a special focus on smart specialisation), the economic context and the research and development trends, including investment figures. Innovation challenges are presented including information on policy response and assessment.

According to the 2017 release, industry collaboration and commercialisation of public research results remain a major challenges for R&I systems in many EU countries but the demand for human resources is increasingly a central point of R&I policies.

Increases of public and private funding of R&I remain an issue for both innovation leaders and modest innovators. We can also observe that the modest innovators continue efforts to build effective R&I governance including strengthening the evaluation culture and monitoring. Finally, the European R&I systems focus more and more on strengthening SMEs and domestic companies innovation output, fostering entrepreneurship and targeting interventions in companies in new knowledge-intensive sectors and young innovative companies with high growth potential.

Research and Innovation Observatory (RIO)

DG JRC's Research and Innovation Observatory monitors and analyses research and innovation developments at country and EU levels to support better policy making in Europe.

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Source: European Commission, Joint Research Centre